Stanford study finds that Notable’s drug sensitivity screening platform can identify potentially useful drugs for MDS patients refractory to standard therapies

First peer-reviewed publication highlighting Notable’s platform published today in Blood Advances

FOSTER CITY, Calif., June 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Notable, which is redefining cancer treatment by taking a functional approach to precision oncology in hematological cancers, announced today that the results of a Stanford study using its drug sensitivity screening platform have been published in Blood Advances (June 23, 2020; Volume 4, Issue 12).

This study was designed to evaluate Notable’s drug sensitivity screening platform in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and related myeloid neoplasms. After piloting the platform in 33 patients, the authors conducted a prospective feasibility study, enrolling 21 MDS patients refractory to standard therapies: azacitidine (Vidaza) or decitabine (Dacogen). The primary endpoint of the study was to determine if the drug sensitivity results could be returned to a Tumor Board within a clinically actionable timeframe (<30 days) to inform personalized treatment recommendations. The study met its primary endpoint with drug sensitivity data provided to the Tumor Board at a median turnaround time of 15 days, and these data helped identify potentially useful drugs and drug combinations for MDS patients refractory to standard therapies. Among 21 patients who received a therapy that was tested in Notable’s platform, the authors demonstrated a positive predictive value of 92%, negative predictive value of 82%, and overall accuracy of 85% of the platform in predicting clinical responses.

Additional key details of the study are listed below:

  • 54 patients were enrolled at Stanford University Medical Center between September 2016 and March 2019 and had a diagnosis of MDS, MDS/myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN), or acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
  • Blood samples and bone marrow aspirate samples were provided to Notable Labs, and ex vivo drug sensitivity screening was performed using Notable’s fully automated high-throughput platform, evaluating sensitivity to a panel of 74 individuals drugs and 36 drug combinations.
  • Notable’s platform identified three groups of patients with distinct drug sensitivity patterns.
  • Correlations were observed between genotype and phenotype, with specific gene mutations associated with distinct drug sensitivity patterns.

Notable and Stanford are currently enrolling a second cohort of patients to validate the initial data set.

“We set out to explore whether this platform could produce accurate results in a timely manner, and the answer is yes,” said Peter Greenberg, MD, Professor of Medicine (Hematology) and Director, Stanford MDS Center at Stanford University Cancer Center. “These data demonstrate the utility of this approach for identifying potentially useful and often novel therapeutic drugs for patients with myeloid neoplasms refractory to standard therapies.”

“This peer-viewed research is a substantial clinical milestone for Notable and for precision medicine in oncology,” said Laurie Heilmann, CEO of Notable. “One significant aspect of this research is the dataset Notable is amassing. Our bioinformatics and machine learning models are generating vast datasets that will help inform future drug development. These data are critical for biotech and pharma companies who want to accelerate their go-to-market. We look forward to working closely with Stanford to continue this important research.”

In Jan. 2020, Notable announced the launch of its new observational clinical trial. The trial is being conducted at multiple sites across the country and will focus on hematologic malignancies (blood cancers). The primary objective is to establish a tumor registry with annotated clinical outcomes. Exploratory objectives will include correlation of ex vivo drug screening results with clinical outcomes as well as identification of potential biomarkers that correlate clinical responses with genotype and/or phenotype. More details on Notable’s Institutional Review Board-approved clinical trial is available at https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04014764.

About Notable
Notable is redefining cancer treatment by taking a functional approach to precision oncology in hematological cancers. Notable’s testing platform combines machine learning, automation and high-throughput screening directly on patient samples to predict responses to potential therapies, and ultimately determine which therapies will be most effective for specific cancers. Notable’s functional precision medicine platform will advance drug development and enable pharmaceutical companies to get new therapies to patients faster. Learn more at https://notablelabs.com/ or follow @notablelabs.

Media Contact:
Gina Rezendes
(617) 640-9278
gina@big-swing.com

Notable and MDS Foundation Announce Partnership to Collaborate on Clinical MDS Trials and Advance Drug Therapies for MDS Patients

Foster City, CA – April 30, 2020 — Notable, which is redefining cancer treatment with its scientific technology platform to rapidly advance drug development, announced a partnership today with the MDS Foundation. MDS Foundation (MDSF) provides insight and information to families on upcoming clinical trials for myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).

As part of the partnership, Notable is providing a grant to support MDSF’s critical education and advocacy efforts on behalf of MDS patients and their support network. Notable and MDSF will work closely together to engage physicians, biopharmaceutical companies, health authorities, and clinical trial organizations to collaborate on novel clinical trial designs. The goal of this effort is to match patients to effective drug therapies, and get those therapies approved faster for the benefit of all MDS patients.

The MDS Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing an ongoing exchange of information about MDS with patients and families. For clinical trials, the organization acts as an important conduit providing information, and translating technical jargon and medical terms and procedures for patients to better understand what each trial is about and what their participation will involve.

This partnership marks the MDS Foundation’s first time working with a scientific technology platform like Notable.
“Notable has breakthrough technology for accelerating drug development and precision medicine, matching patients with effective therapies,” said Tracey Iraca, Executive Director of the MDS Foundation. “We are excited to work closely with Notable to continue to learn more about what its platform will mean for MDS research and help translate important information about MDS developments and trials to our community.”

About the Collaboration
Educational patient-facing information highlighting key details about the trials in easy to understand descriptions will be communicated in various formats including social media, email, print, video and on the MDS Foundation’s website.

Furthermore, the MDS Foundation will also help connect the Notable team with MDS research through its Centers of Excellence network on available clinical trials, new research and treatment options.

“The MDS Foundation is paramount for communicating and educating the MDS community about groundbreaking research and treatments in this field,” said Laurie Heilmann, CEO of Notable. “The combination of our scientific technology platform and the MDS Foundation’s charter will help advance functional precision medicine while educating patients and families about the latest clinical trials available.”

Notable’s automated technology platform is built to help predict patient responses to cancer treatment therapies. As a precision oncology company, Notable matches patients with effective therapies and accelerates the drug development process for novel therapeutics. The company is developing the testing capability that will help physicians make better-informed decisions about which treatments and clinical trials might be most beneficial for their patients. A feasibility study conducted at the Stanford University School of Medicine demonstrated that Notable achieved an 84 percent overall accuracy rate in retrospectively predicting patient therapeutic responses. The most recent data from this collaboration was presented at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting in December of 2019.

About MDS Foundation
The MDS Foundation, Inc. is an international non-profit advocacy organization whose mission is to support and educate patients and healthcare providers with innovative research into the fields of MDS, Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and related myeloid neoplasms in order to accelerate progress leading to the diagnosis, control and cure of these diseases. Founded in 1994 by world-renowned researchers dedicated to furthering scientific knowledge, patient support and education in MDS, these same researchers continue to work closely with the organization to enhance these efforts.
For more than two decades, the MDS Foundation has been working towards improving outcomes for patients with MDS through the efforts of patient advocacy, professional education and innovative research. We believe that by building a community of physicians, researchers, patients and caregivers, we can help to make potentially curative therapies available for all patients with MDS.

About Notable
Notable is redefining cancer treatment with a clinically validated AI platform that rapidly advances cancer drug development at a fraction of traditional costs. Notable’s approach combines AI with an automated lab to determine which drugs or combination of drugs will be most effective for specific types of cancers, enabling drug companies to recruit the right patients into clinical trials. The resulting high response rates in those trials can accelerate the process, eliminating much of the time and cost in later-stage trials, and helping to get drugs to market years faster at a lower cost to patients. Learn more at https://notablelabs.com/ or follow @notablelabs.

Media Contact:
Gina Rezendes
(617) 640-9278
gina@big-swing.com

Notable Announces Leadership Team Expansion

SAN FRANCISCO, April 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Notable, a technology leader redefining cancer treatment through rapid drug development via a clinically validated platform, announced today its board has appointed veteran life science executive Laurie Heilmann as Chief Executive Officer. She succeeds founder Matt De Silva who will remain a member of Notable’s Board of Directors and continue to serve as the company’s Executive Chairman.

“Laurie has a proven track record transforming life science startups into established global brands. We are delighted to welcome her to the team during this critical inflection point in our trajectory,” said Matt De Silva, Founder and Executive Chairman. “Notable’s experienced and diverse team has spent over five years focused on developing our clinical platform and building partnerships with top academic institutions and leading pharmaceutical companies. We will continue to expand the reach of our technology to power functional precision medicine with Laurie at the helm.”

Heilmann brings more than 30 years of executive leadership experience. She joins Notable from CrownBio, where she served as President of Global Life Science and Diagnostic Solutions and led the strategic development and commercialization of products and services to treat oncology, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases. Her efforts helped transform the company into a prominent global player in the pre-clinical oncology, cardiovascular, and metabolic disease markets. Prior to CrownBio, Laurie held leadership roles at Strong-Bridge Consulting, Image Metrix-American College of Radiology and the Ockham Development Group.

“It’s an exciting time to join the talented team at Notable. As the company enters the next stage of growth we will focus on advancing the awareness of our scientific technology platform and continue our revolutionary innovation in functional precision medicine,” said Laurie Heilmann, CEO of Notable. “I look forward to advancing the incredible work that Matt and the Notable team has accomplished to accelerate drug discovery for cancer patients.”

Notable’s automated technology platform is built to help predict patient responses to cancer treatment therapies in as little as seven days. As a precision oncology company, Notable matches patients with effective therapies and accelerates the drug development process for novel therapeutics. The company can help patients and their physicians make better-informed decisions about which treatments and clinical trials might be most effective. A feasibility study conducted at the Stanford University School of Medicine demonstrated that Notable achieved an 84 percent overall accuracy rate in retrospectively predicting patient therapeutic responses. The most recent data from this collaboration was presented at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting in December of 2019.

About Notable
Notable is redefining cancer treatment with a clinically validated AI platform that rapidly advances cancer drug development at a fraction of traditional costs. Notable’s approach combines AI with an automated lab to determine which drugs or combination of drugs will be most effective for specific types of cancers, enabling drug companies to recruit the right patients into clinical trials. The resulting high response rates in those trials can accelerate the process, eliminating much of the time and cost in later-stage trials, and helping to get drugs to market years faster at a lower cost to patients. Learn more at https://notablelabs.com/ or follow @notablelabs.

Media Contact:
Kerry Metzdorf
Big Swing Communications
978-463-2575
kerry@big-swing.com

Notable Labs launches rolling blood cancer trial to test its AI system

Precision oncology firm Notable Labs is launching its first self-sponsored clinical trial, designed from the ground up to help validate its cancer patient matching platform over the long term.

The observational study—which also represents the company’s largest trial to date—aims to enroll up to 1,000 participants with a variety of blood cancers and will follow them for at least one year as they receive physician-led standard-of-care therapies at different sites across the U.S. and Canada.

Separately, Notable’s phenotypic and artificial intelligence-powered platform will be tested against multiple patient samples collected over time to provide a longitudinal view of its predictive value based on cancer mutations, drug responses and the outcomes of each participant.

It will also search for patterns useful in the development of new treatments. The company combines AI approaches with automated lab processes to determine which drugs or combinations will be most effective for specific cancers.

“This will really let us look at drug resistance and cancer evolution in patients in real time, and how that affects the laboratory results,” said Notable CEO Matt De Silva in an interview with FierceMedTech. “Specifically, can we measure how the cancer is changing, and in particular, how is it changing in response to drugs.”

“Say you get treated with the standard-of-care agents for your type of blood cancer—the thinking is that that treatment can make you resistant to other therapies, which may or may not be true, but it also could make you sensitive to other drugs,” said De Silva. “And so by taking samples over time, we can look for how that drug sensitivity changes to help design therapies and combinations that are much more effective than the standard treatment.”

The study’s resulting tumor registry will include both newly diagnosed cancer patients and those who have previously received treatment and have progressed. It will also provide opportunities to study the course of diseases such as acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

“Gathering samples over time from the same patient is one of the things we have not been able to do in the other studies that we’ve joined [with our academic research and biopharmaceutical industry partners],” said Notable Chief Medical Officer Hiroomi Tada.

“This provides us with the longitudinal data to understand, for each individual patient, how the disease evolves when they’re given a specific treatment, and if new vulnerabilities become revealed to different classes of agents that you might not normally think about,” Tada said.

The company plans to employ a rolling protocol design, which will begin by enrolling patients in myeloid-based malignancies including AML, myelofibrosis and myelodysplastic syndrome before adding more indications over time.

“As we gain more experience and confidence with B-cell malignancies, we’ll start working in multiple myeloma and acute B-cell leukemia, as well as chronic lymphocytic leukemia,” Tada said. “We’ll broaden the scope of the study as we broaden the application of the platform.”

The 50 best workplaces for innovators

It’s not about the perks.

For Fast Company‘s inaugural Best Workplaces for Innovators list, we set out to find companies that empower all employees—not just top executives, scientists, or coders—to create new products, improve operations, and take risks. We searched for businesses where innovation isn’t just a buzzword but a part of the value system and culture.

The result is an authoritative guide to the professional ecosystems where innovators and would-be innovators can thrive. It includes several of the giants and stalwarts that you might expect (Amazon, Salesforce, 3M) and numerous surprises, such as yogurt maker Chobani and Versa, an Australian marketing agency.

The need to develop a culture that fosters inventive thinking has never been more urgent, says Paul Daugherty, chief technology and innovation officer at Accenture, and one of the experts we tapped to help judge the entries. (Accenture served as Fast Company‘s research partner for the list.) Many companies tout their creative chops as a way to attract scarce talent, but not all deliver. “People are going to go where they feel innovation is valued,” he says.

Fast Company‘s list, unlike other “best workplaces” rankings you’ll see in the media, isn’t a catalog of companies offering the choicest freebies or the most comprehensive benefits—although you’ll find plenty of great snacks and generous leave policies at many of the organizations included. Instead, we honor businesses doing things like offering people time to pursue bold projects (both within and outside their main jobs), configuring work spaces in a way that has led to greater collaboration across teams, putting premiums on inclusivity, and giving people room to fail. Employees—from entry-level hires to senior leadership—have an opportunity to make a real difference in these kinds of environments. And that may be the best perk of all. — Stephanie Mehta

3M
Maplewood, MN

The manufacturing conglomerate famous for Post-it Notes and Scotch tape earns about 3,000 patents every year and encourages its 91,000 employees to devote 15% of working time to projects outside the normal scope of their jobs.

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
Santa Monica, CA

The video-game publisher (World of Warcraft, Candy Crush, Call of Duty) and esports pioneer (Overwatch League) encourages employees to participate in a semiannual challenge called the 5×5 Innovation Challenge, a tournament in which teams of five people are given five weeks and a $5,000 research budget to create a pitch to address a real company challenge, such as enhancing a key franchise.

AMAZON
Seattle

One way Amazon cultivates ideas from more than 600,000 employees is via a process called “working backwards”: Any employee with a big idea is encouraged to create a plan that includes a customer-impact statement, a mock press release, key questions, and perspectives from different business areas. It’s how site features such as Prime Now and Amazon­Smile began.

AMD
Santa Clara, CA

AMD, a semiconductor company, uses “leapfrog teams”—discrete groups of engineers who simultaneously work on successive generations of core chip designs—to ensure the consistent communication, preservation of knowledge, and enforcement of best practices that can help spur innovation.

ANSYS
Canonsburg, PA

A small group of Ansys developers had an idea: Use graphics processing units rather than slower conventional central processing units for the company’s core software product. Management gave them dedicated working space, servers, and relief from their normal duties. Discovery Live launched last year—the first engineering software that provides real-time physics simulation and geometry editing.

ATTIVO NETWORKS
San Francisco

The cybersecurity firm, which deploys technology to help businesses detect and respond to attacks, assigns a “champion” to mentor each new hire, boasts a 93% annual employee-­retention rate, and reinvests one-third of revenues into research and development.

BLUE PRISM
Warrington, England

The robotic-process automation company makes its proprietary software and training materials available to universities (including Texas A&M, Aditya Engineering College, and the University of Manchester), and in January opened a new artificial intelligence lab in its London facility.

B-REEL
Stockholm

Three times a year, the Swedish creative agency assigns one team member from each of its five global offices to spend several days in the company’s Barcelona R&D lab to work on a custom brief designed around a significant challenge, such as creating a new application for Google’s AR Core product.

CHOBANI
Norwich, NY

To reduce inefficiencies and increase collaboration, the private yogurt company brought 90% of its agency work (including advertising, PR, design, consumer research, and retail execution) in-house, creating a 359-person department that operates under one budget. The change allowed Chobani to take its Less Sugar Greek Yogurt product from concept to stores in less than six months.

CHARITY: WATER
New York

Dedicated to bringing safe drinking water to developing countries, Charity: Water secures donations through creative storytelling. Employees have rigged GoPro cameras to capture the perspective of an Ethiopian child, and surrounded guests at the company’s annual fundraiser with a wraparound, football-field-size LED screen to show a woman making her daily trek to a distant well.

CLOUDFLARE
San Francisco

To create products that improve website security and performance, Cloudflare’s R&D lab incubates new ideas through rapid iteration. Cloudflare also conducts two-week experiments called “spikes”: Employees test new ideas to determine whether they warrant further investment. In 2018, the company launched eight new products and services, including 1.1.1.1, which provides consumers with faster and more secure internet connections.

COMPASS
New York

Real estate technology company Compass runs on a proprietary tech platform that elicits internal feedback through a digital forum that allows up and down voting from all of its agents and employees. Suggestions that make it to the top of the leaderboard become eligible for some of the hundreds of millions in funding the company has committed to developing new initiatives, such as health insurance for agents.

DUOLINGO
Pittsburgh

The language-learning platform has a website section, Duolingo Labs, that allows employees and the site’s 300 million global users to suggest enhancements for projects in development, such as a Spanish podcast that was downloaded more than 8 million times last year, topping the education category on Apple Podcasts.

EPSILON-CONVERSANT
Irving, TX

Recently acquired by Publicis, the marketing company has an “automate to innovate” ethos underlying proprietary technologies like Grasshopper, which translates digital ad campaign assets into fully formatted interactive ad units of all sizes, reducing the number of hours digital producers spend formatting by nearly 400% per campaign.

FORWARD
San Francisco

The three-year-old primary-care practice, which provides services for a monthly fee, pairs engineers with physicians to develop new, advanced medical technology.

GENENTECH
South San Francisco

The biotech firm employs more than 120 postdoctoral fellows engaged in basic discovery research and generates about 350 articles each year in peer-reviewed journals. Its innovation fund and incubator support employees with novel ideas that aren’t necessarily being explored by the company, such as new drug-delivery systems or applying AI to drug design.

INFLUXDATA
San Francisco

The seven-year-old database company’s main product, Influx­­DB, is an open-source technology designed to manage and store massive volumes of time-stamped data. To ensure effective communication with a largely remote engineering staff, InfluxData applies the same open-source ethos of transparency: All trainings, documentation, and presentations are available via its YouTube channel, blog posts, and web­inars on the company’s site.

INTUIT
Mountain View, CA

The company behind QuickBooks, Turbo­Tax, and Mint supports employees developing new ideas for communities that most need them. Through a project called Mission Hope, Intuit’s customer-success team is opening new customer service call centers in local economies that have experienced serious downturns. In the past two years, the initiative created more than 900 jobs in Wise, Virginia, and Johns­town, Pennsylvania. Intuit has recently announced a third center (in Bluefield, West Virginia).

JLL
Chicago

The commercial real estate services firm built its own cloud-based mobile tool (Idea Stream) to allow all 91,000 global employees to share ideas, best practices, and solutions. All entries are vetted by subject-matter experts and include feedback from employees and examples of client implementations.

JOHNS HOPKINS APPLIED PHYSICS LABORATORY
Laurel, MD

Associates and fellows at the state-of-the-art research complex have 24/7 access to 3D printing, a VR/AR room, and an electronics workbench; a centralized database keeps researchers abreast of new developments in other labs. Last year, the APL reported 419 new inventions and 30 new patents.

JOHNSON & JOHNSON
New Brunswick, NJ

Beginning as a one-off presentation that attracted 60 people in 2011, TEDxJNJ has evolved into an ongoing vehicle for employees at the CPG/pharma giant to share experiences, information, and points of view, with 76 events in 19 countries yielding more than 500 speaker videos.

KLICK
Toronto

The independent health-marketing and commercialization agency uses its innovation lab to experiment with emerging tech platforms. In the six years since it began operating, Klick Labs has produced a patent-­pending technology that records and transmits Parkinson’s tremors in real time and a patented VR app that offers patients 3D visual perspectives on their internal medical conditions. Klick’s software company, Sensei Labs, also developed an enterprise-­level collaborative work-management platform.

KRONOS INCORPORATED
Lowell, MA

Six years ago, executives at the workforce-management software company sequestered a team of 25 to reinvent Kronos’s core product. That group, dubbed “Project Falcon,” eventually swelled to 600 and created a new cloud-based workforce-management platform called Workforce Dimensions, which has helped drive up company revenue by 38%.

LEXISNEXIS
New York

Employee volunteers at the legal and professional services provider worked closely with the International Bar Association to develop the eyeWitness to Atrocities app, the first-ever smartphone app designed to document human rights abuses, marking and safeguarding images so they can be entered as evidence in court.

LIFEOMIC
Indianapolis

The 70-person cloud and mobile software company acts “as a virtual VC,” helping engineers learn how the software business works beyond technological development. In its first year, the program has spawned three subsidiary corporations focused on software, security, and marketplaces for healthcare and other industries.

L’ORÉAL
Clichy, France

The 110-year-old cosmetics maker, which has an internal technology incubator and more than 4,000 employees dedicated full-time to research and innovation, registered 505 patents in 2018. Last November, it became the first beauty company to launch a tech product, My Skin Track UV, a battery-free wearable UV sensor, sold exclusively through Apple.

MERCK
Kenilworth, NJ

In 2018, the drugmaker spent nearly $10 billion on R&D. This year, the company announced an additional five-year, $16 billion investment in projects to improve development, capabilities, and innovations. Its ventures fund has committed more than $85 million toward treatments for a variety of conditions, including neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, and resistant bacterial infections.

MORGAN STANLEY
New York

The banking company’s Technology Innovation Office funds promising employee projects in key areas, including artificial intelligence, data analytics, and fintech, and offers an accelerator program to expedite the patent-filing process. Its Innovation Lab provides a digital “sandbox” environment where any employee can experiment with code, software, and other technologies.

MOZILLA
Mountain View, CA

Mozilla has a tradition of building open-source technologies, allowing any user to access and use and modify its code. The company has awarded $6.4 million to universities, research nonprofits, and other noncommercial partners since 2015, with its Open Innovation team advising, financing, and collaborating on products that keep the internet “safe, open,and accessible to all as it evolves.”

NARRATIV
New York

The shopping-tech startup is mining data in a way that’s useful (rather than intrusive) for the consumer, creating the world’s largest non-Amazon data­base of product SKUs linked to expert reviews. Narrativ employs machine learning to match products with the expert content written about them. The company cites its focus on innovation as the main reason it boasted a 100% retention rate in its engineering group in 2018.

NOTABLE
San Francisco

Notable uses its automated laboratory and artificial intelligence to predict how cancer cells will react to drugs. The company brings together engineers, doctors, scientists, and healthcare experts to inform its product and has large-scale partnerships with pharmaceutical companies, publicly traded biotech startups, and research institutions like MD Anderson Cancer Center and Stanford.

OSF GLOBAL SERVICES
Quebec

At OSF Global Services, a Canadian company that implements custom commerce platforms, any employee can submit a proposal to the Product Lab and, if approved, receive funding and resources to develop it. Incentives are shared by the idea’s originator and the team that’s assigned to help them build it. In the program’s three years, OSF has launched 28 new products, including 9 in 2018 alone.

PIVOTAL
San Francisco

Cloud-based software maker Pivotal requires all of its programmers to write software in pairs. This, the company says, motivates employees to “push each other to meet goals,” while also providing a safety net to test, experiment, and fix code together. Partners rotate and work within various larger teams to ensure that everyone in the company is exposed to new perspectives regularly.

PROCTER & GAMBLE
Cincinnati

Here’s how the CPG giant’s GrowthWorks program functions: After conducting consumer research to identify a problem, a small team prototypes and tests a solution on a metered-­funding basis, earning additional investment upon reaching pre-­established milestones. GrowthWorks currently has more than 130 experiments running, including 10 that have launched.

PROXIMITY DESIGNS
Yangon, Myanmar

Myanmar-based not-for-profit Proximity Designs works with rural farmers in the long-isolated country. The company has spent more than $1 million in agricultural research over the past five years. Employees from all departments pursue research in the field, conducting one-on-one interviews, focus-group surveys, and crop studies.

REGENERON PHARMACEUTICALS
Tarrytown, NY

At science-based organizations, employees typically need a PhD to be promoted from research associate to staff scientist. Biotechnology company Regeneron, however, tracks and rewards practical training as research associates accumulate it, recognizing the value of real-world, on-the-job experience.

REVERB
Chicago

To get acclimated, new employees at the used-musical-­instrument marketplace enter a program called the Contest: Each employee is given $1,000 and five weeks to buy and sell as many guitar pedals as they can on the website, using whatever skills they have, whether through beautiful design or effective keywords. The most successful win cash prizes.

ROCKWELL AUTOMATION
Milwaukee

Century-old Rockwell Automation recently added an electric-vehicle research center that will be accessible from anywhere in the world through augmented reality. Company leaders post “wanted” ads for solutions that any self-formed team within Rockwell can tackle and be rewarded for developing.

RUBIKLOUD TECHNOLOGIES
Toronto

Rubikloud Technologies combines retail data with machine learning and artificial intelligence to help businesses market and manage customer experiences. The company has a close relationship with the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, where members of Rubikloud’s team work directly with PhD candidates to research and solve machine-learning and data-­science issues in Rubikloud’s products.

SALESFORCE
San Francisco

Employees on Salesforce’s technology and product team can move to another group within the department, gaining exposure to a totally new range of technologies and customers. Nearly 30% of the open jobs in Technology and Product are filled via internal transfers.

SAS
Cary, NC

Employees at software company SAS give presentations meant to inspire and motivate their peers. The most effective presenters are featured on the main stage at the company’s annual conference and represent the company externally. One presenter, who gave a talk about transforming special education through AI and language analytics, now sits on the board of a national association for children with special needs.

SEPHORA
San Francisco

Sephora Accelerate, an incubation program, is exclusively for female founders in beauty; it includes a weeklong business boot camp, one-on-one mentoring from Sephora partners and leaders, grants, and a demo day where founders get the opportunity to present their companies to venture partners and Sephora’s senior team.

SIEMENS
Munich

Industrial manufacturer Siemens holds more than 15,000 patents in the United States alone, with more than 43,000 R&D-focused employees worldwide. Its Quickstarter program allows Siemens employees to independently (and democratically) allocate company money to support the development of colleagues’ ideas.

SONATYPE
Fulton, MD

At Sonatype, which makes products that help developers and security professionals manage open-source code, designated “innovation days” take place every other week, allowing employees to explore and tinker. Last year, employees worked on 511 projects stemming from the program.

THORN
Los Angeles

Building technology to defend children against sexual abuse, nonprofit Thorn collaborates with law enforcement, NGOs, governments, and private-sector partners. With fewer than 50 employees, Thorn has successfully identified more than 9,000 child victims across 35 countries, in part due to partnerships with tech giants such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter, which provide resources, technology, and expertise. A recent partnership with Google.org, for example, included integrating full-time Google engineers into Thorn’s product team for a six-month fellowship.

WORKDAY
Pleasanton, CA

The provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance and HR holds a semi-annual Spelunking Conference, where employees present lessons gleaned from project failures. The company plows more than 30% of revenue back into R&D and has a 40-person research team focused on incubating new products.

VERSA
Cremorne, Australia

The digital agency develops voice-activation tools for brands such as Coca-Cola, Domino’s, Pfizer, and the Red Cross. The company runs an entrepreneurship program for employees, which in just two years has already spawned two new companies: Code Like a Girl and Initio Insurance.

WETRANSFER
Amsterdam

The Dutch file-transfer company does more than just nod to research suggesting clear links between diversity and innovation: It boasts an even 50-50 gender split among employees who hail from 38 countries. All of them get one full “Innovation Friday” each month to work on a project of their choosing, some of which (such as a mobile uploader) have been incorporated into the company’s suite of creative workflow tools.

WORKIVA
Ames, IA

Workiva attributes the success of its cloud-based data-management tools (more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies use them) to a highly collaborative product-development process: The R&D groups work closely with finance, accounting, and operations teams to coordinate requirements, while developers and product managers meet regularly with customers throughout a product’s life cycle.

XINOVA
Seattle

Originally a spin-off of Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures, Xinova has created a network of more than 12,000 innovators in 118 countries that clients can tap into as an extension of their own R&D. This brain trust helps develop commercial solutions to particular technical challenges, and network members whose ideas are adopt­ed earn cash, royalties, and equity.

Notable Named To Fast Company’s Inaugural List Of The 50 Best Workplaces for Innovators

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Notable, which is redefining cancer treatment with a clinically validated platform that rapidly advances cancer drug development at a fraction of the traditional time and cost, announced today that it has been named to Fast Company’s inaugural Best Workplaces for Innovators list, honoring businesses and organizations that demonstrate a deep commitment to encouraging innovation at all levels.

“We are honored to receive this recognition from Fast Company. Notable’s purpose is to change the way cancer is treated by matching patients to the most promising treatments for their individual disease,” said Matt De Silva, Notable’s CEO and Founder. “At Notable our cross functional teams are encouraged to innovate, experiment, and push the boundaries of standard thinking within the industry.”

Best Workplaces for Innovators was developed in collaboration with Accenture, the 2019 Best Workplaces for Innovators showcases 50 winners from a variety of industries, including biotech, consumer packaged goods, financial services, cybersecurity, and engineering. Working together, Fast Company editors and Accenture researchers scored all 362 applications, and a panel of eight eminent judges reviewed and endorsed the top 50 companies. The 2019 awards feature workplaces from around the world, and 8 of the honorees are based outside the U.S.

Matt De Silva, Notable’s founder and CEO, started the company in 2014 to help his own father, who suffered from a deadly brain cancer. Adopting precision medicine from the beginning, Notable went on to develop a clinically-validated platform to rapidly identify and advance cancer therapeutics at a fraction of the traditional time and cost.

Notable’s approach can help predict which types of patients are most likely to respond to a drug in as little as 5 days. This can help patients and their physicians make informed decisions about which clinical trial appears most promising for that particular patient, while also increasing the likelihood of a trial’s success. Better matching of patients with therapies increases response rates, which can accelerate FDA approval.

In a recent clinical trial Notable achieved an 84 percent overall accuracy rate in predicting patient response to drugs or drug combinations. The company’s approach has been validated in multiple independent clinical studies in partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of California San Francisco, Rady Children’s Hospital, and Texas Children’s Hospital, among others.

“Other titles catalog perquisites and benefits. Fast Company seeks to highlight workplaces that attract and retain the best talent by creating environments where employees are empowered to put forth bold ideas, engage in radical experiments, and even fail, in the name of innovation,” says Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company.

To see the complete list, go to: https://www.fastcompany.com/best-workplaces-for-innovators/2019. Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators issue (August 2019) is available online now, and the print issue will be on newsstands beginning August 13.

About Notable
Notable is redefining cancer treatment with a clinically validated AI platform that rapidly advances cancer drug development at a fraction of traditional costs. Notable’s approach combines AI with an automated lab to determine which drugs or combination of drugs will be most effective for specific types of cancers, enabling drug companies to recruit the right patients into clinical trials. The resulting high response rates in those trials can accelerate the process, eliminating much of the time and cost in later-stage trials, and helping to get drugs to market years faster at a lower cost to patients. Learn more at https://notablelabs.com/ or follow @notablelabs.

About Fast Company
Fast Company is one of the world’s leading business media brands, with an editorial focus on innovation with deep emphasis on creativity, technology, social impact, leadership, and design. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with our sister publication Inc., and can be found online at fastcompany.com.

About Accenture
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology, and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions — underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network — Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With 482,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

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Cancer Drug Discovery Firm Notable Nabs $40M in Series B Funding Round

NEW YORK – Notable, a Bay Area firm using automated laboratory testing, artificial intelligence, and single-cell omics for cancer drug discovery, said yesterday that it has raised $40 million in a Series B financing round to accelerate the development of its services.

The financing was co-led by B Capital Group and returning investor LifeForce Capital. Industry Ventures also participated in the round, which brings Notable’s total funding to more than $55 million.

Personalized cancer treatment startup Notable Labs nabs $40M Series B

Notable CEO Matthew De Silva said the company has been able to successfully replicate its automated system, allowing for the export of the company’s technology and growth of its commercial use cases.

Silicon Valley startup Notable Labs, which uses AI to predict effective cancer treatments for patients, has raised a $40 million Series B round as it looks to to kick off a larger national and international expansion.

The financing round was co-led by new investor B Capital Group and previous investor LifeForce Capital and brings the company’s total funding haul to over $55 million. B Capital Group is receiving a board seat as part of the funding deal.

Notable’s automated lab testing technology uses patient cell samples to more quickly understand the effect of specific cancer treatments on individuals, thereby boosting the efficiency and speed of drug development efforts.

B Capital Group has made AI-based drug development an area of focus for their healthcare investment efforts. Aside from Notable, the firm has also invested in San Francisco-based Atomwise, which uses machine learning to help biotech and pharma companies screen for effective drug compounds more efficiently.

Notable CEO Matthew De Silva said the 40-person company’s work in building out the evidence base for its technology has helped it bring on new talent, sign new partnerships and broaden its investor support.

“The key progress we made from our Series A is the validation we’ve been able to achieve for our technology, which has played out in our clinical trial results,” De Silva said.

One trial done in partnership with Tempus and Stanford demonstrated the technology’s use in developing individualized treatment recommendations for MDS cancer patients, with around an 84 percent accuracy rate in predicting positive and negative responses to treatments.

According to De Silva, the new funding will be directed at helping the company scale past its initial lab location in Foster City, California. De Silva said the company has been able to successfully replicate its automated system, allowing for the growth of its commercial use cases.

Notable’s reliance on cancer cell samples means that locating their technology closer to where patients actually are or where trials are being run is of vital importance.

“We’re looking really seriously at locations beyond the U.S. and all our software is cloud-based for that reason,” De Silva said. “Global scale is really important because clinical trials and drugs are not developed in only one geography.”

De Silva said the new capital will also be invested in the company’s scientific development efforts to expand its indications past specific blood cancers.

B Capital Group Principal Adam Seabrook said the Notable’s ability to predict efficacy using a patient’s own cells made them an attractive investment target.

“In Notable’s particular focus of cancer, the diseases are incredibly complex and patients have multiple clones and variations. There’s no one thing to solve all those cases,” Seabrook said. “But by combining the power of software with interesting approaches in biology you can get closer to understanding how to treat diseases like blood cancers.”

Seabrook said he sees the company’s greatest value in the near-future as helping to accelerate clinical trials by predicting the effectiveness of potential therapies and understanding which drug candidates should be prioritized for further development.

When it comes to potential exit opportunities for companies like Notable and Atomwide, Seabrook pointed to big pharma as one potential acquirer, as well as tech firms like IBM and Google, who have made data driven research a stronger part of their growth strategy.

For De Silva, scaling the company up means more patient samples, more data and ultimately more insights into the drugs and diseases Notable is targeting. This could lead to new lucrative partnerships with drug development companies or the launch of its own development pipeline

“Over time as you’re mapping the drug to the patient subpopulation and sequencing those patients samples you can find patterns in the reasons why a certain drug is working for a certain population,” De Silva said. “At a thousand times the scale that picture becomes much more clear.”

AI-focused Notable Labs score $40M in funding; Seattle Genetics/Astellas submit marketing application for enfortumab vedotin

The AI experts at Notable Labs have garnered another $40 million to scale their automated laboratory and analytics platform. Designed to match patients to clinical trials by predicting quickly who are most likely to respond to a cancer drug, the startup has pitched itself as an advocate for patients and facilitator to pharma companies. With the Series B cash, Notable Labs plans to expand their platform both in terms of geography — building labs outside of North America — and cancer types (it’s currently focused on hematological cancers).

As Notable begins identifying patterns in data, they will also begin exploring drug development efforts, such as testing drugs for new indications. Eventually, CEO Matthew De Silva tells FierceBiotech, they could move from repurposing to discovering its own drugs — though that will be way down the line.
B-Capital Group and LifeForce Capital co-led the round, with participation from Industry Ventures.

Months after Seattle Genetics $SGEN and their partners at Astellas won breakthrough therapy status for their antibody drug conjugate, enfortumab vedotin — the companies on Tuesday said they had submitted an accelerated approval application for the therapy in metastatic urothelial cancer patients who have been treated with a checkpoint inhibitor and platinum-containing chemotherapy.

In 2014, Celgene $CELG inked a partnership with Vancouver, British Columbia-based Zymeworks $ZYME to research, develop, and commercialize up to eight bispecific antibodies. Four years later, the partners hiked that number to ten potential products. For each product, Zymeworks is eligible to receive up to $164 million — including licensing fees and milestones payments — in addition to royalties on drug sales. On Tuesday, Celgene chose its lead therapeutic candidate in oncology, triggering a $7.5 million payment for Zymeworks.

Notable raises $40 million to personalize cancer drug regimens

Update: Notable has raised $40 million, not the $50 million suggested by the original headline.

Notable Labs, a Foster City, California-based provider of personalized drug combination testing for cancer patients, today revealed that it’s closed a $40 million series B round co-led by B Capital Group and LifeForce Capital, with participation from B Capital and Industry Ventures. Cofounder and CEO Matt De Silva said the cash infusion brings the company’s total raised to over $55 million following a $14.8 million series A in September 2017.

“Patients with aggressive cancers are in a race against time, but if we can use technology to identify the best drug or drug combination at the time of diagnosis, there is a much better chance those therapies will work,” said De Silva, a former hedge fund manager who founded Notable in 2014 after his father developed brain cancer. “We are eager to scale the results we’ve generated with our academic collaborators by expanding our AI platform and automated laboratory to more cancer types.”

As De Silva explained, Notable’s oncological approach predicts which patients are most likely to respond to drugs by applying various treatments to cancerous cells and healthy white blood cells, and by producing a therapeutic index after recording how many of the former survive. Screenings take as little as five days, expedited in part by Notable’s fleet of sample-analyzing robots.

The company’s focus is principally blood cancers like leukemia, lymphoma, and myolema — at least for now. De Silva notes that blood cells are relatively easy to obtain, enabling tests to be conducted the same day. In the future, sometime following the launch of Notable’s ND-1000 program that will combine an existing generic cancer medication with a natural product, the company will migrate the bulk of its diagnostics to CLIA-certified labs.

On the subject of ND-1000, Notable says it meets the FDA’s Rare Pediatric Disease Priority Review Voucher Program criteria, which means that if it makes it through the clinical trial process and earns regulatory approval, the company will receive a voucher for expedited review for a different product. Vouchers, which Notable says it might use for other programs or sell to another pharmaceutical company, have an estimated market value between $60 million to over $300 million.

ND-1000 is Notable’s first drug development program, but the startup plans to announce another by the end of the year and has a total of 15 treatments in development across six types of adult and pediatric blood cancers.

Notable has conducted feasibility studies in collaboration with academic partners at Princess Margaret Cancer Center, the University of Florida, MD Anderson Cancer Center, the University of California San Francisco, Rady Children’s Hospital, and Texas Children’s Hospital so far. More recently, it collaborated with Chicago-based Tempus and researchers at Stanford to create personalized treatment recommendations for myelodysplastic syndrome patients who had unsuccessfully undergone the standard of care for their disease.

According to Notable, early clinical data in the Stanford and Tempus study indicates that Notable’s solution was 84% accurate in predicting patient response to drugs or drug combinations.

“We are very impressed with the groundbreaking work Matt and the team at Notable have done over the last few years to change how cancer can be treated with the goal of completely personalized treatment from the point of diagnosis,” said LifeForce Capital managing partner John Noonan. “LifeForce Capital is increasing its commitment to the company because of the results Notable has already achieved, and because Notable’s technology will continue to help physicians use data to make more informed decisions on which treatments and clinical trials will be most effective for each individual patient.”

Notable has ramped up hiring in recent months as it accelerates its R&D efforts. Scott Patterson, former VP of engineering at DNA testing service Counsyl, joined to lead the engineering team, and former Stemcentrx manager Marianne Santaguida was appointed head of scientific partnerships. Omid Karkouti, previously sales lead at Science Exchange, was also recently recruited as VP of business development.

Other Notable investors include First Round Capital, Founder’s Fund, Eleven Two Capital, and Y Combinator.